I braved the chaos of King of Prussia Mall today and returned with some great finds. A pair of amazing Scott Mittens for our upcoming jaunt to Vermont; a beautiful sequin jacket that I’d been admiring for some time and toasty sweatshirt from JCrew (heavily discounted); and a nice pair of slippers. I love a good sale, don’t you? And not hitting any traffic on Route 76 paired with limited crowds was nothing short of a blessing.
I stopped in Trader Joe’s armed with a few generous gift cards ready for battle. I grabbed ‘list items’ and splurge items, strolling the store with a hop in my step. God, I love using gift cards as an excuse to purchase overpriced dried fruit and frozen food items. Am I alone in glowing with thoughts of that simple pleasure?
After struggling into the house, paper bag breaking completely and apples rolling down the alley, I settled in and gathered my ingredients to prepare this simple yet satisfying meal. There is nothing quite like a hearty meal like Manicotti to warm you up on a cold winter night. Using a quality jarred sauce will quicken the process as would using pre-shredded mozzarella. However, I have an affinity for quality cheese as for my new Microplane so fresh Mozzarella it is.
You will need:
1 package Manicotti, boiled until al dente
1 15oz package Fresh Ricotta Cheese
1 egg, whisked
8 oz Mozzarella cheese, roughly shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 jar good quality Fra Diavolo sauce
Preheat to 375F.
In a bowl combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 of mozzarella, 1/2 of Parmesan and seasonings. Mix together and spoon into a zip lock bag. Snip the end of the bag. Lay out manicotti ‘shells’. Use the bag to pipe ricotta mixture into each shell. Do not overfill.
In a 9×13 baking dish add 1 c. sauce. Place prepared manicotti tightly in the dish.
When finished, add rest of jar of sauce and cheeses on top. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.
Serve with a small side salad (Arugula with Red Wine Vinaigrette). All that is missing is some crusty bread!